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August 5, 2020



Today's Top Stories


Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services


Airlines Reinforce Mask Rules; Italy Threatens Ryanair Suspension

Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are among the latest airlines becoming more stringent with their face mask policies. All travelers, save for infants, are required to wear a mask from check-in to baggage claim. The three airlines join Delta Air Lines in banning face coverings with direct exhaust valves, and also do not allow face shields to be worn in lieu of a mask. Cebu Pacific is asking its passengers to wear a face shield and mask during flights beginning August 15 as part of a government mandate. Meanwhile, Ryanair is being accused by Italy's national civil aviation authority of not following COVID-19 safety rules, such as social distancing protocols, and is threatening to suspend its permit to fly in the country.

Travel Pulse | Related Italy threatens to ban Ryanair over coronavirus rule-breaking – RFI



Virgin Atlantic Files for Chapter 15 Creditor Protection During Restructuring

Virgin Atlantic has filed for Chapter 15 under the US bankruptcy code with the intention of shielding its assets in the country as it implements a recapitalization plan. It will vote on the restructuring process on August 25. Virgin Atlantic has not entered administration in the UK, but is appealing for financial aid in its home country. The airline needs $1.6 billion to keep its liquidity above a threshold specified in bondholder contracts. If available cash falls below $99 million dollars, it would have to sell its Heathrow slots against which the bonds are secured, forcing the carrier to fold.

Business Traveller | Related Clarification by Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic – LinkedIn



Alaska Airlines Discontinues Tablet Rental Program for Better Hygiene

Alaska Airlines permanently removed in-flight entertainment tablet rentals on board in an effort to minimize contact between guests and crew. The tablets were available on long-haul flights and free for first-class passengers and high-ranking loyalty program members. Wireless IFE remains available via Alaska Airlines’ in-flight Wi-Fi.

Travel Pulse | Related American Airlines adds free inflight Apple TV+ streaming – The Points Guy



Virgin Australia to Relaunch With 737-Only Fleet

A leaner Virgin Australia has emerged courtesy of its new owner Bain Capital. The airline will only keep Boeing 737s in its fleet, shed 3,000 staff members and discontinue low-cost subsidiary Tigerair. In a statement, the airline alluded to the importance of international flying to its business model but is forced to suspend those flights “until the global travel market recovers.” Going forward, Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s will not be used. "We will be very focused on delivering the best value in the market for customers," said Danielle Keighery, Virgin Australia's chief experience officer.

Executive Traveller | Related Virgin Australia moves to an all-B737 fleet as part of relaunch plan – Business Traveller



Stephen Newell Is New CCO at NXTCOMM

NXTCOMM, a new Atlanta-based mobile connectivity company, announced the appointment of Stephen Newell as its chief commercial officer. Newell will lead sales, business development and product marketing at the company. “Steve brings a laser focus on business development with intimate knowledge of the satellite communications industry and customer base – strengths that will be a huge asset for us,” says David Horton, co-founder and CEO of NXTCOMM. Newell brings more than 20 years’ experience and has served in executive positions at several communications firms. In 2021, NXTCOMM will release a modular flat-panel electronically steerable antenna called AeroMax that leverages fragmented aperture. Newell has been tasked with securing a launch customer for the product.




Malaysia Airlines Taps 3Sixty to Enhance Duty Free E-Commerce

An omni-channel facelift of Malaysia Airlines’ online duty-free shop Temptations, courtesy of new partner 3Sixty Duty Free, has led to a 55% increase in web traffic. Customers can order products with the option of onboard delivery or shipping to anywhere in the world. Members of Enrich, Malaysia Airlines’ frequent flyer program, can earn miles with every purchase. The company’s group chief marketing and customer experience officer, Lau Yin May, is positioning Enrich as “a valuable lifestyle rewards hub on top of being a world-class airline loyalty program.”

Malaysia Airlines | Related BIG Loyalty introduces BIG Points Expert character, BIGGIE – AirAsia



Melbourne Airport Takes a Shine to Solar Power

Solar panels capable of powering all four terminals at Melbourne Airport will be switched on in January. Solar energy will be the source of nearly 15% of the airport’s annual electricity consumption. “With the airport’s electricity demand expected to grow, the construction of our solar farm makes sense for several reasons,” said Melbourne Airport chief of Landside Access, Utilities and Facilities Group, Lorie Argus. She noted that the energy cost savings provided by the panels is a timely benefit during the COVID-19 crisis, and a key way to ensure sustainable growth at the airport.

Melbourne Airport | Related Future Proof: Fuel Cell Systems Could Power Aircraft Cabin Parts – APEX Media





Today we look back to 2018 and Jorge De la Paz’s depiction of the controversial in-flight credit card pitch.

This week, we’re featuring @jorgedelapaz's stunning creations for #APEXExperienceMag.

> Tweet of the Day

Our first flight of the #Daxingaircraft landed at Beijing Daxing International Airport. We really wish to share this remarkable moment with you! Daxing Aircraft will operate on PKX route and welcome passengers from all around the world! Meet Daxing aircraft on your next trip?

Xiamen Airlines @XiamenAirlines


Association News

FTE APEX Virtual Expo Will Be a Truly Global Event

We wanted to ensure that our upcoming digital trade show reflects the international nature of APEX and FTE. As such, it will take place 24 hours a day to accomodation all time zones. Register now to attend from home, on December 8 and 9, and watch this out-of-this-world augmented reality video by Joe Matson.


COVID-19 Survey: What Will Encourage You to Travel?

How do you feel about traveling during the pandemic? Which measures taken by airlines and airports will encourage you to travel? From arriving at the airport and checking in, to onboard safety measures and destination conditions, most people have concerns. OAG, a flight database and statistics provider and APEX Awards partner, would like to know what airlines and airports can do to convince you it is safe to fly. Take this five-minute Traveler Sentiment Survey to share your views.


> Quote of the Day

"Client-supplier relationship is the key to success in our industry and we need to be flexible and considerate in coming to a mutually supportive solution."

Edwin Cheung, Encore Inflight
Read the article


Until tomorrow



The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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